Province Cheers on Olympic Athletes

first_img Eric Gillis, Antigonish, marathon Mark de Jonge, Halifax, men’s K-1 200m (sprint) Genevieve Orton, Lake Echo, women’s K-2 500m (sprint) Ryan Cochrane, Windsor, men’s K-2 200m (sprint) Ellie Black, Halifax, women’s artistic gymnastics Erin Rafuse, Halifax, women’s 49er FX, sailing Danielle Boyd, Halifax, women’s 49er FX, sailing Graeme Saunders, Chester, men’s 470, sailing Jacob Saunders, Chester, men’s 470, sailing -30- Nova Scotia is sending nine Olympic athletes to Rio to represent Canada this month. “Nova Scotians will be cheering for their fellow Bluenosers and all members of Team Canada during the 2016 Olympic Games,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “How exciting it must be for these athletes to be on the world stage at the very top of their sports. We are proud of them and, on behalf of all Nova Scotians, I wish them well. May they continue to represent their province and their country with resolve and determination.” The Olympic Games officially open Friday, Aug. 5, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and run until Aug. 21. The athletes representing Nova Scotia are:last_img read more

Polisario Seeks Attention Through Fictional Maneuvers in Buffer Zones

Rabat – The Polisario Front announced its intention to stage provocative maneuvers in Bir Lehlou and Tifarity, two buffer zones located in northeastern Western Sahara. Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum, however, reports that these announcements are only an attention grab that uses Algerian media to publicize its ploy.The main objective of the separatist group is to provoke the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) after having lost “all legitimacy on the ground in the Tindouf camps and to mislead families restrained in the Algerian soil,” added the news source.The separatist group has staged several illegal maneuvers in the buffer zone of Guerguerat, resulting in condemnation from both the Moroccan government and the United Nations Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Antonio Guterres. Moroccan political analyst  El Moussaoui Al Ajlaoui told the news source that “this Polisario maneuver has only been mounted for media purposes without any impact on the group.”  El Ajlaoui added that the separatist front is seeking the attention of the United Nations and international public opinion. The illegal maneuvers carried out in the buffer zones of Guerguerat are defying the decisions of the United Nations. These illegal activities, however, may reinforce Morocco’s stance in the report prepared by the UNSG Personal Envoy Horst Kohler on the Western Sahara conflict. Kohler will submit his final report to the UN Security Council in Early April.In a recent interview with MWN, Moroccan political analyst Reda El Fellah said that Polisario’s military illegal armed operations near the buffer zone of Guerguerat mirror “the state of despair” within both Polisario and its backer, Algeria. read more

Home sales dropped 25 in Calgary and Edmonton in December CREA says

OTTAWA — There were fewer home resales in Canada last month, with Calgary and Edmonton showing the biggest declines.The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of sales of previously owned homes was down 5.8% nationally in December compared with November, with almost two-thirds of all local housing markets showing declines.Calgary and Edmonton were each down 25% and activity slipped about 5% in the Toronto area.CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said it was no surprise that consumer confidence in Alberta softened last month, given the uncertain outlook for oil prices, but added that sales in Calgary and Edmonton “had been running strong all year before they returned to levels that are entirely average for the month of December.”Despite fewer sales, CREA says its housing price index was up 5.38% in December from a year earlier. The national average price for homes sold in December was $405,233 — up 3.8% from a year earlier, the smallest increase since May 2013.The association noted that the national price is skewed by the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto markets, which are the most active and expensive in Canada.How once-booming Calgary is now becoming the drag on national home pricesThe biggest threats to Canada’s housing market? Declining oil prices, for startersExcluding those two cities, the national average price in November was $319,481 — up 1.9% from a year earlier.Earlier this week, national real estate company Royal LePage said the price of a Canadian home is expected to rise by a relatively modest 2.9% on average in 2015 as price appreciation slows across the country.LePage said Toronto is expected to lead the pack when it comes to price increases this year, with up an estimated 4.5%, although that would be well behind last year’s pace.Vancouver was expected to see the second-biggest average jump in prices, up 2.8%, followed by a 2.4% gain in Calgary.The realtor says economic factors, including the plummeting price of oil, would likely to cause home prices to grow at a slower pace, particularly in Western Canada. read more

Irving Oil raises cautions about NB Liberals throne speech talk of carbon

FREDERICTON — Irving Oil says any New Brunswick carbon plan needs to allow the province’s businesses to remain competitive.Premier Brian Gallant’s government announced in Tuesday’s throne speech that his Liberal government would bring in carbon pricing that helps combat climate change.The premier says the pricing model will minimize the impact on consumers while calling on industry to reduce emissions or pay its fair share.In a statement sent to The Canadian Press, Irving Oil said 80 per cent of its production goes to the U.S., where its competitors face no carbon tax.Jeff Matthews, an executive from the firm, said in the release that the firm is “committed to working with all levels of government on a plan that protects the environment while also maintaining competitiveness for New Brunswick businesses.”He’s calling on the province to create a Made in New Brunswick carbon pricing model. read more

Number of people applying for US unemployment aid dips to 367000 hopeful

WASHINGTON – The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits ticked down last week following a sharp drop the previous week.Applications are falling again after rising for most of April, suggesting hiring could pick up this month.Weekly applications dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ending May 5, the Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s figure was revised up slightly.The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell by 5,250 to 379,000. It was the first decline since late March.Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they stay consistently below 375,000, it suggests job growth is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.The April spike in applications coincided with weaker hiring this spring. Employers added an average of 135,000 jobs per month in March and April — well below the pace from the previous three months. That raised fears that the job market is sputtering.Dan Greenhaus, an analyst at BTIG, an institutional brokerage firm, said temporary layoffs stemming from spring holidays likely pushed claims higher in April. If applications stay where they are or fall further, Greenhaus predicts hiring will rise to healthier levels of between 150,000 and 200,000 new jobs each month.A jump in job openings also points toward stronger hiring in the coming months. Employers advertised 3.74 million job openings in March, the most since July 2008. It usually takes one to three months for employers to fill openings.From December through February, employers had created an average 252,000 jobs a month. That was the best three months of job growth since the recession ended in June 2009, not counting months thrown off by the hiring of temporary census workers in 2010.The unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point since August — to 8.1 per cent in April.The recent jobs picture has been clouded by an unseasonably warm winter. That allowed construction firms and other companies to hire earlier than usual, effectively stealing jobs from the spring. Economists are puzzling out how much of the slower hiring in March and April was weather-related payback and how much reflects economic weakness.More than 500,000 Americans have left the work force since February. That’s one reason — and not a good one — that unemployment has continued to fall. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren’t counted among the unemployed.The economy grew at a disappointing 2.2 per cent from January through March, a rate consistent with less than 110,000 new jobs a month.There’s still has a long way to go. The United States has regained only about 3.8 million, or 43 per cent, of the 8.8 million jobs lost during and immediately after the recession.The number of people receiving unemployment benefits also dropped. That is partly because extended benefit programs are winding down. More than 6.4 million people received benefits during the week that ended April 21, down nearly 175,000 from the previous week. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Number of people applying for US unemployment aid dips to 367,000, hopeful sign for hiring by News Staff Posted May 10, 2012 1:21 pm MDT read more

Samsung announces details of recall program for washers that present injury risk

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. is offering customers who purchased one its recalled top-load washers free repairs or a rebate on the cost of a new machine.The recall includes 255,000 Samsung and Samsung manufactured Kenmore washers.It involves 20 models produced between March 2011 and October of this year.Samsung said drums in affected washers may lose balance, triggering excessive vibrations, resulting in the top separating from the washer.It said this can occur when a high-speed spin cycle is used for bedding, bulky or water-resistant items and can present an injury risk to consumers.The company said to date there have been no reported injuries in Canada.In the U.S., nearly three-million Samsung washing machines are being recalled. Safety officials cited 733 reports of malfunctioning, top-loading washers and nine injuries, including a broken jaw and an injured shoulder.Details regarding repairs or rebates for affected models in Canada can be found on Samsung’s website.– With a file from The Associated Press by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 4, 2016 3:38 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Samsung announces details of recall program for washers that present injury risk read more

ASTI and TUI to ballot members on noncooperation with new Junior Cert

first_imgUpdated at 5.58pmMEMBERS OF TEACHING unions the ASTI and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland are to be balloted on non-cooperation with the new junior cycle programme.The two unions expressed their “grave disappointment” at efforts being made to address teachers’ concerns over the changes being proposed following the first meeting yesterday of a working group set up to consider the implementation of the new ‘Junior Cycle Student Award’.Speaking after the meeting, Education Minister Ruairí Quinn said he was confident that teachers, managers and parents could “roll-out the new JCSA in a careful and considered way”. The Department also proposed slowing down the pace of the planned reforms.But the two second-level unions said their concerns weren’t being properly addressed, and that the meeting did not involve “genuine engagement on the issues of most concern”.The  TUI executive committee will meet next Friday to consider the wording of a vote to be put to members on non-cooperation with the new scheme, while the central executive council of the ASTI decided at a meeting in Dublin’s Gresham Hotel this evening that its membership would also be balloted on the issue.“Second-levels teachers are in favour of reform of the Junior Cycle. However, teachers have serious concerns about key aspects of what is proposed,” ASTI General Secretary Pat King said.“These concerns include the capacity of schools to implement significant educational reform following more than five years of education cutbacks, the threat to education standards in schools and between schools, and the potential for the proposals to exacerbate inequality between schools and between students.”King said the Education Minister had failed to engage with teachers before he announced his plans for the reforms more than a year ago, and that there had been “no genuine consultation” about teachers’ concerns in the meantime.ChangesThe planned changes will see eight new “short courses” introduced to the curriculum, including computer programming, PE, Chinese and artistic performance. Students will get marks for showing what they can do in practical tasks rather than in the examination hall.TUI General Secretary John McGabhainn said that key questions still remained “on standards, capacity and equity” in the wake of yesterday’s meeting.“Even at this late stage, there remain more questions than answers and this is completely unacceptable,” McGabhainn said.First posted at 2.22pm.Read: First it was ‘The Inter’, then it was the Junior Cert… now it’s got a new name…Read: Chinese, coding and caring for animals: Junior Cycle is getting an overhaul >last_img read more

Human brain cells in mice technique could help tackle Parkinsons

first_imgSCIENTISTS IN CALIFORNIA say they have been able to grow key cells from the human brain in the bodies of lab mice – raising hopes that the technique could be used to grow new cells to counter serious neurological conditions.The researchers at the University of California in San Francisco say a progenitor cell called the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) – a type of cell which is key in the development of the brain – has been able to flourish when transplanted into the brain of a mouse.The MGE cells, in turn, can be artificially grown in a laboratory through the manipulation of stem cells, whether extracted from an embryonic state or induced from existing human skin cells.The growth in the brain of a mouse strongly resembles the development that occurs in human development, the researchers said – and integrated themselves into the brain by forming connections with the rodents’ own nerves and then maturing into specialised types of ‘interneurons’, cells which control nerve circuits in the brain.MGE cells are relatively unusual in that they only form one single type of interneuron – meaning they can be used as a more controllable and predictable way of tackling conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, where the neural system becomes reports that the treatment – if used in clinical trials – could even be used to treat the complications of major spinal cord injury. Researchers at UCSF have already used MGE cell transplantation to reduce neuropathic pain.“The hope is that we can deliver these cells to various places within the nervous system that have been overactive and that they will functionally integrate and provide regulated inhibition,” said Dr Cory Nicholas who worked on the project.Read: Drugged Spiders Spinning Webs Archive Experiment of the DayMore: Why some people (and mice) can eat a lot and stay skinnylast_img read more

Woman buys Irish painting worth up to 10000 at US thrift store

first_img 6 Comments Woman buys Irish painting worth up to $10,000 at US thrift store for just $1 The woman had no idea what the painting was worth when she first bought it. File photo Image: June Marie Sobrito via Shutterstock Share106 Tweet Email5 Short URL Feb 25th 2018, 7:01 AM Sunday 25 Feb 2018, 7:00 AM By Hayley Halpincenter_img A WOMAN HAS acquired an original Daniel O’Neill painting for just $1 in a thrift store in the US, which has now been estimated to be worth between $4,000 (€3,251) and $10,000 (€8,129).The painting was set with a price tag of $1.99. However, it was sold during a 50% off sale and the customer purchased it for just $1 (€0.81).“I knew nothing about the artist, but I knew it was an original oil painting. Plus, I just liked the colours in it, so I thought, well I will just buy it to research the artist,” the buyer, Stacey Muhammad from Phoenix, Arizona said.Muhammad sent the painting to an online appraisal service, Mearto, that connects people with art and antique experts.It was here that the painting was attributed to Irish painter Daniel O’Neill.O’Neill was born in 1920 in Belfast. He was a self-taught artist and began his career painting in his spare time, while working as an electrician.He later secured a gallery contract and began working as a full-time artist. During his lifetime, O’Neill’s work was mostly exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy. Most recently, some of his paintings appeared in the Irish Museum of Modern Art.O’Neill is a highly sought after artist and his work frequently sells at auction houses like Adam’s Actions, Whyte’s and Ross’s Auctions.Muhammad explained how she came to the realisation that O’Neill was a well-known artist.“After taking [the painting] home and researching the artist I didn’t find much, but I did notice that the artist has had paintings that were sold in auctions, but I didn’t know what they sold for,” she said.“I don’t necessarily have an eye for rare or expensive art but the painting was interesting to look at, so I took a chance to see if it was worth anything.After receiving the appraisal, I was excited and surprised by its potential value, so I took it to a local auction house where they were also super excited and they too appraised it and convinced me to let them auction it for me.This week, the painting was left at the auction house for a clean and is now being prepared for auction in the coming weeks.Further information about the painting can be found here.Read: Nancy’s is the Donegal pub that’s like stepping into your granny’s good roomMore: 10,000-year-old skeleton of woolly mammoth sells for over €500,000 at auction Image: June Marie Sobrito via Shutterstock File photo 30,442 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Poll Should the EU grant Theresa May another extension

first_img Yes, til 30 June (1306) Yes, til 30 JuneYes, a flexible extensionNoI haven’t a clueVote TODAY, BRITISH PRIME Minister Theresa May will ask for EU leaders to grant her another extension to avoid a no-deal Brexit on Friday.She’s already asked European Council president Donald Tusk for an extension until 30 June, who has instead opted for offering a flexible extension of up to a year, which would be cut short in the event of May’s deal being approved in the House of Commons.But a flexible extension would mean that the UK would have to take part in European elections, scheduled for 23-26 May across Europe.So, we’re asking for your take: Should the EU grant Theresa May another extension? 21,957 Views As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Share29 Tweet Email Poll: Should the EU grant Theresa May another extension? No one wants an extension – but the EU and UK want a no-deal Brexit even less. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: PA Wire/PA Images Image: PA Wire/PA Images Wednesday 10 Apr 2019, 11:04 AMcenter_img I haven’t a clue (538) By Gráinne Ní Aodha Poll Results: Yes, a flexible extension (3144) No (4460) 74 Comments Apr 10th 2019, 11:04 AM Short URL last_img read more

Schoolrequired immunizations available

first_imgThe new school year’s more than a month away, but not the usual August rush for child immunizations.Clark County’s public health officials suggest parents schedule their children’s back-to-school protection now.Required immunizations for kindergarten-through-ninth grade include whooping cough (there’s been an in-state outbreak) and two doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine — or formal doctor’s notice the child has already had a case of chickenpox.Children starting third, fourth or sixth grades must get one dose of chickenpox vaccine (or, again, proof of incidence).Also recommended: meningococcal vaccine to prevent meningitis, a serious infectious disease, for all children age 11-18; and, for girls under age 19, parents should consider the human papillomavirus vaccine, available at low cost.The HPV guards against four types of virus, two that can cause cervical cancers and two that cause 90 percent of genital warts. It is not required for school admission.There are exemptions for medical, religious or other reasons, but immunizations are still highly recommended. Children without them may be sent home when outbreaks occur.Appointments are now available for free child immunizations through Washington state’s Childhood Vaccine Program. Local health care providers may charge a visit fee but it can be waived for those unable to pay.last_img read more

Makeshift cross burned in downtown Portland

first_imgPORTLAND — Portland police say somebody used trash and tree branches to form a 3-foot-tall cross on a downtown sidewalk, and then ignited it.The cross was constructed amid traffic cones and street closure signs from the weekend Grand Floral Parade.Officers extinguished the fire Monday morning and said no buildings were threatened. They said there was no motive apparent for the act.last_img

Newsweeks Zakaria Defects to Rival Time

first_imgNewsweek International editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria is leaving the magazine to join rival Time as editor-at-large starting October 1. Zakaria will have a regular column and will contribute cover stories and features in the print magazine and on [pictured] also has renewed his association with CNN and will continue to produce his weekly show, “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” as well as several other special reports annually, sister company Time Inc. announced Wednesday. In addition, Zakaria will serve as a consultant for HBO’s documentary unit. Time Inc., CNN and HBO are all owned by parent company Time Warner. Responsible for overseeing the Newsweek’s editions abroad, Zakaria has been the editor of Newsweek International since October 2000 and has contributed a regular column to the U.S. edition. Prior to joining Newsweek, Zakaria served as managing editor of Foreign Affairs for eight years.Earlier this month, the Washington Post Co. sold Newsweek to audio magnate Sidney Harman, who apparently intends to keep a majority of Newsweek’s staff. Zakaria’s departure eliminates him as a possible candidate to replace managing editor Jon Meacham, who has said he is leaving the magazine once the sale process is complete.last_img read more

China denies US Navy ship visits to Hong Kong amid unrest

first_imgWashington: US officials said the Chinese government has denied requests for two US Navy ships to make port visits to Hong Kong amid civil unrest. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a deputy spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said on Tuesday the USS Green Bay had been scheduled to visit Hong Kong on August 17 and the USS Lake Erie was scheduled to visit in September. Also Read – Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us Christensen said it was up to China to say why it denied the requests. He said the US Navy expects port visits to Hong Kong to resume. The last Navy ship to visit was the USS Blue Ridge in April 2019. Riot police clashed briefly with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong’s airport Tuesday on the second day of demonstrations that caused mass cancellations and disruptions.last_img read more

Physicists unify quantum coherence with nonclassicality of light

first_img Experimental method measures robustness of quantum coherence (—Physicists have demonstrated that two independently developed concepts—quantum coherence and the nonclassicality of light—both arise from the same underlying resources. The ability to explain seemingly distinct phenomena within a single framework has long been a fulfilling aspiration in physics, and here it may also have potential applications for quantum information technologies. Citation: Physicists unify quantum coherence with nonclassicality of light (2017, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Credit: Asim Alnamat This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The physicists, Kok Chuan Tan, Tyler Volkoff, Hyukjoon Kwon, and Hyunseok Jeong, at Seoul National University, have published a paper on their work in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.”The results unify two well-known yet independently developed notions in quantum information theory and quantum optics: the concept of quantum coherence that was recently developed based on the framework of quantum resource theories, and the notion of nonclassicality of light that has been established since the 1960s based on the quantum theory of light,” Jeong told Jeong explained, an important question in physics is how to draw the line between “quantum” and “classical” and how to quantify the degree of “quantum.” In their new work, the physicists developed a procedure that quantifies the amount of coherence in a superposition of coherent states. This information essentially tells how “quantum” vs. how “classical” these states are, which is useful for many quantum information tasks.In the process of doing this, the scientists found that the same resource that measures coherence can also be used to measure the nonclassicality of light. This finding helps to explain some previous observations, such as that both coherence and nonclassical light can be converted to quantum entanglement. As the new results show, this is because nonclassical light may be interpreted as a form of coherence.”I think it is always interesting to apply new ideas to old concepts to see if we can get additional insight,” Tan said. “In this case, the resource theory of coherence is a relatively new tool available to the community while nonclassical light is, comparatively speaking, a much older concept from a mature field of study. By providing a connection between the two concepts, our hope is to be able to create synergy, where the tools and insights we gain from coherence can be used to achieve greater insight into the inner workings of nonclassical light and vice versa. For instance, our work suggests that the fact that both coherence and nonclassical light can both be converted to entanglement is no mere accident.”He added that the unification of these two concepts may open the doors to unexpected discoveries in the future.”Then there is this idea of unification,” he said. “Parsimony is a virtue as far as physics is concerned, so there is an inherent appeal in having a single framework rather than treating things separately. We show that this is possible, but not necessarily straightforward. The fact that there is a way to treat discrete system coherence and continuous nonclassical light on equal footing also suggests methods to study the nonclassical effects that arise from the intersection of these two regimes. This intermediate regime can possibly lead to new and interesting quantum phenomena.”In the future, the researchers plan to further investigate the connection between the two phenomena, with the hope that it may lead to practical applications.”For now, we are still in the early stages of trying to leverage this parallelism between coherence and nonclassical light,” Tan said. “There are some promising applications of coherence that may be ported over, with some wrangling of course, to the continuous variable, quantum light side of things and vice versa which we are looking into. “As previously mentioned, we are also interested in studying the regime where nonclassical light interacts with discrete systems, such as spins or atoms. This is a key component of quantum information and communication technology where light interacting with matter is commonplace, so we are hopeful that the nonclassicality in this regime can eventually be converted over to perform some useful task.”center_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2017 Explore further More information: Kok Chuan Tan et al. “Quantifying the Coherence between Coherent States.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.190405Also at arXiv:1703.01067 [quant-ph]last_img read more

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first_img The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  Dave Fornell, ITN Editor Dave Fornell is the editor of Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiology magazine and assistant editor for Imaging Technology News magazine. Enterprise Imaging“Enterprise” recently has become a major buzzword in imaging and this year many vendors will feature solutions that enable image and report access anywhere in a hospital or healthcare system without the need for dedicated workstations. Enterprise imaging also is likely the next evolutionary step in image storage and management, which will take the responsibility for imaging management away from radiology and place it into the hands of IT. Also, as imaging expands to include digital files from all hospital departments (pathology, orthopedics, cardiology, radiology, OB/GYN, internal medicine, etc.) access to images will no longer need to be routed through the radiology PACS or dozens of potentially incompatible image storage systems. Enterprise imaging is often tied to Web-based software systems and a vendor neutral archive (VNA). These usually use Web-based cloud computing vendors that offer virtually unlimited storage capacity, while at the same time offering a disaster recovery solution. Use of vendor neutral platforms is supposed to enable easier integration of data from disparate systems throughout the hospital so it can be made available in one place via the electronic medical record (EMR). Interoperability has greatly improved in recent years, but buyers should be watchful, as some systems interface better than others, and all will have some technical hiccups.  Image courtesy of Imago Systems Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more Concentration of IT, Not Imaging HardwareWhile PET/MR and state-of-the-art high-slice CT scanners are innovative and have a certain “wow” factor, the RSNA show floor has largely transitioned to being an imaging software marketplace. Note that actual imaging systems have only briefly been mentioned; the bulk of the technology is IT-related. One will be hard-pressed to find anything regarding the gasping corpse of analog imaging on the show floor, since everything imaging today is digital. This includes the image files, the reports, and how that data is stored, attached to EMRs and transferred to referring physicians.  Based on trends and new product releases Imaging Technology News (ITN) magazine monitors throughout the year, here is a list of some of the items I expect to be the hot topics at RSNA 2014.  News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Women’s Health  Breast imaging has seen a lot of increased interest in the past year. A lot of this has to do with the rapid expansion of 3-D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). Another important factor is the new legislation in several states and pending in Congress to require clinicians to inform women if they have dense breasts, which can greatly limit diagnostic accuracy in traditional mammography. Until recently, there was not much that could be done for women with dense breasts, but advances in breast MRI, automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) and tomosynthesis now offer options to better screen these patients. Of these, tomosynthesis will likely become the primary modality, since it is substantially similar to current mammography workflows. It also offers the ability to view slices of the breast to better differentiate actual lesions from areas of overlapping dense tissue. Imaging centers across the country are leveraging their new tomosynthesis machines in public ad campaigns to attract new patients. Blog | Dave Fornell, ITN Editor | November 04, 2014 Key Imaging Technology Trends to Watch for at RSNA 2014 Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s.center_img Related Content Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:33Loaded: 2.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:33 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Less Expensive and More Efficient Imaging SystemsDue to the economic downturn, stagnation in healthcare capital spending due the uncertainties involved with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and declining reimbursements, vendors now offer a variety of more affordable imaging systems than in the past. Additionally, all imaging systems and software are now graded for workflow efficiency and patient throughput, where speed and automation to save staff time are key.  All major technology advances in the world of radiology and imaging are unveiled or highlighted at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in Chicago. This makes it the ideal place to see how the vendors are responding to legislative mandates, economic factors and how new advances in technology are likely to impact how healthcare is conducted in the coming years.  Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more The ACA pushes healthcare reform almost entirely through IT innovations and the digitalization of healthcare in an effort to make data more accessible and efficient. As Stage 2 meaningful use criteria begins to creep into specialties such as radiology and all others that rely on imaging, greater emphasis will be placed on some key new technologies on the show floor. This includes computerized physician order entry (CPOE) for imaging orders. Patient engagement is a key element, which more than likely will center on easy-to-use patient portals that are smartphone friendly to access their medical images, test results, etc. Another biggie for Stage 2 is remote viewing systems that allow easy image access to anyone who needs to see them and is not connected to the PACS. There has been an explosion of these remote image viewing systems over the past couple years. The new normal for most of these apps is to be tablet- and smartphone-friendly to allow image and report access anywhere a physician happens to be. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Radiation Dose ReductionWell publicized overdoses of ionizing radiation from CT scans have inspired legislation in both Texas and California to force hospitals and imaging centers to now record and monitor patient dose exposures. Other states are expected to follow suit with their own legislation. Additionally, earlier this year the Joint Commission changed its rules for credentialing facilities by now requiring dose-recording software so facilities can get a handle on doses used and how to reign in high-dose outliers. Congress also passed H.R. 4302 earlier this year, which delays the large cuts in Medicaid called for by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) if imaging facilities meet new requirements for stricter patient radiation dose safety controls in efforts to lower dose. Expect to see many new software options on the show floor that record the dose from each exam from multiple X-ray and nuclear imaging modalities. These systems often package that data into dashboard management apps to monitor doses based on specific machines, protocols, departments and technologists. Some software will also help interface data for easier upload to the American College of Radiology (ACR) Dose Index Registry.  News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more Videos | Radiology Business | August 02, 2019 VIDEO: Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) President … read morelast_img read more

Energy project puts national parks in danger parks founder says

first_imgRelated posts:Guanacaste Conservation Area favors environmentally sensitive geothermal project ICE chief promises compromise on geothermal energy in national parks Costa Rica opens the door to more renewable energy generation How one island powered itself with a volcano Costa Rican environmentalists are spoiling for a fight to stop the government from removing 1,000 hectares (about 3,000 acres) from Rincón de la Vieja National Park, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, for a geothermal electricity project.Leading the environmentalists is the renowned conservationist and co-founder of the Costa Rican National Park System, Álvaro Ugalde.Ugalde, 67, now retired from government service and using his time to help conservation efforts at the community level, said that so-called “segregation” at Rincón de la Vieja would be a disaster on many levels.The segregation would set a precedent likely to be repeated at other national parks, especially those that have geothermal potential.“There’s a park on top of every place where there’s geothermal,” Ugalde said.The segregation would smear Costa Rica’s reputation as a global conservation leader, despite government claims that it would demonstrate “development hand-in-hand with nature.”“The fact is they’d be segregating 1,000 hectares from a place that was declared a United Nations World Heritage site in 1999,” Ugalde said.UNESCO, a U.N. body that designated the entire Guanacaste Conservation Area – of which Rincón de la Vieja is a part – a World Heritage Site, has already expressed its concern over the geothermal project.“Geothermal is a great opportunity to promote the development of the country based on renewable sources of energy. We nonetheless consider it unnecessary to segregate a national park, a World Heritage Site, without first evaluating the alternatives for developing the project in areas with geothermal potential outside the park using technologies that generate the least negative impact; even if they imply a greater cost, they would generate the conservation of ecosystem services that the forest serves for current and future generations,” UNESCO said in a press release.From an environmental and tourism standpoint, the segregation would potentially destroy the last remaining “pre-coffee” ecosystem in the country in the most tourist-visited areas of the park – Las Pailas and Santa María – Ugalde said.Finally, the segregation would remove from National Park System land that was acquired with a donation from a private foundation, the Engelhard Foundation.“I never thought when I promised [foundation president] Sophie Engelhard in the 1980s that we would preserve the land in perpetuity that we’d be facing this situation,” Ugalde said.The segregation would permanently damage the country’s reputation of good faith in acquiring donations for conservation purposes, he added.Ugalde said he does not oppose geothermal generation inside the park, but it should be carried out in concert with the conservation aims of the park itself, in conjunction with the National Park Service.“We would be stupid to say that there should be nothing, but [it should be] something minimal inside the park and in control of the park system, in conjunction with ICE [the Costa Rican Electricity Institute],” he said.ICE said that segregation in parks would be offset by providing an equal amount of land at other sites.“The country must find a model that permits the tapping of geothermal energy from volcanic sources that are in national parks,” Environment Vice Minister Ana Lorena Guevara told the weekly Semanario Universidad.“This bill is clear in that the possibility of a disaffection or change in the limits of the park would not be carried out until there are technical studies that demonstrate the site can be compensated with other areas or in another manner,” she added, referring to an energy bill before the Legislative Assembly that would allow geothermal exploitation in parks.ICE also said that part of proceeds from geothermal energy production would go toward badly needed funds for the national parks. Ugalde characterized that as “crumbs.”“There would be as little as possible from their side [pro-energy officials] and as much as possible from our side,” he said.Ugalde said the model of seeking more and more energy for export to other countries, or even to feed growing energy needs in Costa Rica, is “humanity at its worst” – a model of development that puts conservation at the end of the line in national priorities and at odds with the country’s reputation as an environmental leader.Together with ongoing destruction at Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula by gold panners, the Rincón geothermal plan presents an existential threat to the parks system itself, Ugalde said.“If those two go, I wish I had died before,” he said. “The area will turn into catacombs. It would be the beginning of the end of the parks and the beginning of the end of tourism.”Since Ugalde and fellow conservationist Mario Boza founded Costa Rica’s park service more than 40 years ago, with the preservation of two national parks – Santa Rosa and Poás – no land in any of the 26 current parks has been segregated.The Legislative Assembly’s Energy and Environment Commission is expected to meet Thursday to vote on Bill 17,680, which mandates segregation and would go to the full Assembly for a vote at an undetermined date in the future.Costa Rica’s environmental movement is rallying around the cause of beating back the park segregation. Groups have been meeting to plan strategy and actions.Dozens of academics and environmental leaders along with dozens of environmental groups signed a petition protesting the law.If the bill passes the commission, groups could organize demonstrations, Ugalde said. If the bill makes it past the full Assembly, Ugalde said conservationists would challenge it in the country’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.Ugalde said that tourism, even though it is one of Costa Rica’s top earners of foreign exchange income, has taken a back seat to energy needs.“The Ministry of Tourism is very weak,” he said. “What really amazes me is the silence of the tourism industry.”An uphill climbFrom the beginning, Costa Rica’s national parks faced an uphill climb for survival.Parks were initially a novelty that had no institutional precedent in Costa Rica. While the law protected land in theory, many of the parks were “paper parks,” which existed on paper but suffered from lack of protection, and in some cases, large inholdings of private property.From gold panners in Corcovado to illegal loggers in other parks, authorities faced a raft of problems preserving the areas.Judges applying the law weren’t familiar with the new legislation and some parks were located in poor, rural, frontier areas where people were accustomed to squatting on undeveloped land.But most of all the very notion of preserving unused land was an unfamiliar one. Laws on the books at the time encouraged deforestation by giving settlers on the “agricultural frontier” title to land they were able to develop.Slowly but surely, the parks began to gain recognition and institutional strength, partly thanks to the boom in tourism that began in the late 1980s and eventually made the parks the backbone of Costa Rica’s No. 1 source of foreign income.More environmentally friendly laws were adopted, and Costa Rica’s fame as a conservation-minded “green” country became one of its principal calling cards around the world.And now?So what happened? Why has the government apparently turned its back on its famed environmental ethic to apparently open the door to chipping away at the hard-won environmental gains?Ugalde said that the current government, especially Environment Minister René Castro, appears tone deaf to the implications of ruining Costa Rica’s conservation bona fides.“We have a Minister of Energy, not a Minister of Environment,” Ugalde said.Castro has expressed surprise at the environmentalists’ complaints, saying the proposal to use geothermal energy from national parks is 12 years old.Ugalde acknowledged that a clash to accommodate conservation and energy interests was probably inevitable, but said that the proposal to actually segregate land from a park fell like a bombshell in December.Ugalde also noted that national parks have failed to gain the support of the Costa Rican people at a grassroots level.“They don’t feel they are part of the national parks,” he said. “They see them as a government thing.”If he had it to do over again, Ugalde said he would have created the National Park System “from the bottom up, not from the top down.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Centaras Away Koh Kood resort named Outstanding Secluded Boutiq

first_imgAway Koh Kood, Centara Boutique Collection has been named as Outstanding Secluded Boutique Hotel in the Hotel Club Hotel of the Year 2010 Awards.The resort, built on an intimate scale with only 20 bungalows and 13 tented accommodations, is located on the west coast of Koh Kood, 82 kilometres off the coast of Trat province, and is the epitome of an island hideaway.The annual Hotel Club Awards have been running since 2006, recognising the most outstanding properties in a range of categories around the world. Hotel Club is a leading global accommodation website offering hotel and accommodation bookings, providing travellers with over 69,000 accommodation choices in over 7,300 cities worldwide throughout 138 countries.Centara Boutique Collection is a brand within Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s largest hotel management company.Properties within the Boutique Collection are designed to a small scale and are for the independent minded traveller who requires five-star accommodation but who does not wish to stay in a large resort.There are currently eight Boutique Collection properties in Thailand and one in the Indian Himalayas, and Centara has a strategy of expanding this brand rapidly within the next few years. Source = Away Koh Kood, Centara Boutiquelast_img read more

What other regions of the world are relatively unt

first_imgWhat other regions of the world are relatively untapped for expedition cruising and are present growth opportunities for A&K?We tend to grow our programs in the areas where we have the core expertise, so we create and do new variations of programs in the Arctic. A couple of years ago we launched our Northwest Passage voyage that now has become a perennial favourite for us each year. Each year we’ll incrementally grow in regions by coming up with a new itinerary or a new focus of enrichment. Some of the areas that we want to continue to grow are places like the Kimberley, and we’re looking at doing some development work in areas of Indonesia and the Indonesian islands as well. Any where where we can put together a delivery of enrichment, whether it’s culture, wildlife or specific enrichment areas that we can draw out and provide to the guest. And finally Bob, are you talking with Crystal about chartering their luxury expedition ship, Crystal Endeavour?We have a very good and symbiotic relationship with PONANT. It’s a good fit for a couple of reasons. One is that the hardware, in my opinion, is an ideal fit for our type of product and our type of guest expectation. And it has worked very well. And as they have grown their fleet it has given us a good opportunity to grow what we are doing as well. Having said all that, we don’t have a joint venture or a commercial exclusivity or tie, so I am always in conversation with a number of companies, and continue to do so. We all know each other, so I have good working and personal relationships with other companies, and even competitors, that we always maintain the dialogue, and if and when the time would fit that there is a particular opportunity for a ship in a place that is a good fit for us, we are absolutely open to continuing to have the opportunity.There’s nothing imminent but there’s always the possibility there could be an alignment that works better for us in one way or another.Bob, many thanks for chatting with LATTE.Go back to the enewsletter With this influx could the expedition market be over-saturated in places like Antarctica and the Kimberley? Will it reach a point similar to the European river cruise market where at some ports guests needs to cross through other vessels to disembark?Well that’s the million dollar question. To this point and up until this year, I was the chair of the executive committee for IATO. For the three previous years leading up to this last year and I can tell you that one of the key elements of our focus has been on being very proactive in insuring that we are managing for the growth. And to this point we’ve been able to do that very effectively.I think there is a potential tipping point. I don’t think we are there yet, even in the near term. And part of that collaboration and community of cooperation is what helps us to do that. When we schedule and organise our programs we work around a scheduling system that enables us to still maintain what we call a “wilderness experience”. But it has changed. There is no question about it. It is a key thing that we’re definitely looking at to make sure we are doing it the right way. It’s a similar situation in certain areas of the Arctic as well, that it has to be done very carefully and very measured, so that the growth of the number of ships and the number of passengers that are going ashore, and all those things, that’s it’s done in a very managed way. Something that we are all keeping an eye on, that’s for sure. What is the pull of Antarctica, especially for luxury travellers?It’s interesting. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I can still remember in February of 1998, it was three days after I started a job with A&K in expedition cruising and I was off to Antarctica. I grew up in Texas and I remember talking with a couple of my friends, telling them I’m heading to Antarctica next week and their reaction was “are you out of your mind? Why would anyone want to go there?”I think it’s interesting because Antarctica has become a very mainstream destination now. A lot of that has to do with the growth of the number of ships and the awareness of the destination. And now there’s different options. And there’s big ships. You can go down on a Princess Cruises’ ship and do a cruise-by, and so there’s a lot of awareness of Antarctica.It’s really a very attainable destination in that regard, but in terms of why and what I think is really still the amazing part is that it is just flat-out the most amazing wildlife destination in the world. For a company like ours where there are a lot of arguments to be made about East Africa or the Galapagos or some of these other places, for me it’s just because of two things. One is just the sheer volume. The numbers of species and the quantity within some of these areas of individual animals, particularly birds, and when it comes down to it, the variety of penguins, that is just quite astounding.It is one place also that we have to be very careful that we are following guidelines of conduct in terms of the interaction with wildlife because at the end of the day you could easily get right up to them because they don’t have any natural fear of predation, especially on land. There is in the water but not on the land. And so we have guidelines in terms of distance but the amount of wildlife that is there is just unbelievable. And its not just birdlife, the marine mammals as well. Some of the greatest whale and seal watching opportunities are in Antarctica, just the abundance is astounding.There are so many pieces to it. The history, it’s still very iconic and going to some of the places 80 years ago it was unattainable. And when you think of it the expedition cruising and its evolution to be able to reach locations like Antarctica. Really it started with a ship that we previously owned called the Explorer, the ”Little Red Ship”. That was from 1990 to 2003 that we owned and operated the Explorer. That was the original ship built as an expedition vessel. It was built by Lars-Eric Lindblad and his idea.Up until that point if someone wanted to go to Antarctica it would be an extremely expensive proposition. You would have to charter a ship, put together a crew, it would be like going back to the old explorer days like Shackleton and you would to fund the expedition to be able to go. Whereas Lindblad thought if I build the ship and I just sell the cabins, that was the formation of what now is fuelling the amazing boom in growth of this segment of the travel industry. And it really all started with that. There were a lot of people that want to be able to go to these amazing, remarkable places. For me, Antarctica is top of the bucket-list that people just want to be able to tick off. And for many people on any given voyage, Antarctica was their final continent to explore. Have you ever seen this segment of the cruise industry grow so fast? There seems to be a new expedition ship announced every second week at the moment.Unquestionably we are definitely in a very robust period. There seems to be quite an optimistic outlook in terms of the expedition cruise segment. There’s a lot of projects in place. There’s a lot of projects that are being delivered. I think there’s some projects that may or may not come to fruition, but I think overall there’s a good 20-30% capacity growth potential in the expedition cruise sector over the next four-to-six years, so it’s quite remarkable. And I think there is a lot of optimism. I think there’s a view that the demand is there, and I can tell you that most of my contemporaries – they are competitors but we are close community, especially when it comes to expedition cruise operators. We all know each other well and quite frankly, we work in many cases very closely together. For example when you look at Antarctica, all of us as operators, we’re pretty much without exception all members of IATO – an organisation of all companies that operate in the Antarctic. We all work very collaboratively and closely together, so there’s a close connection. I’m quite sure that the majority of the ships are operating at near full capacity, so that optimism of demand is definitely there. Go back to the enewsletterBased at Abercrombie & Kent‘s headquarters outside Chicago, Bob Simpson joined the luxury travel company in 1998 and over the past 20 years has worked his way up the ranks to his current position as Vice President, Expedition Cruising.In Melbourne earlier this year enroute to Broome, LATTE spoke exclusively with Simpson to talk expedition cruising, one of the travel industry’s biggest growth sectors. In our lengthy conversation with Simpson, we explore topics such as the appeal of Antarctica, the growth of expedition cruising and its potential impact on the environment, Abercrombie & Kent’s association with PONANT, the company’s Philanthropic projects and whether or not another A&K owned and operated ship was under consideration. What are your thoughts on expedition lines offering helicopter and submarines onboard. Is that something A&K supports. Do you have a particular position on that?I’m a little mixed. Part of what I said earlier about the ability for all of us to be able to offer a wilderness experience for guests, a lot of that has to do with the ability to provide a solitude experience as well.I have to be honest to say that I have some level of concern with the prospect of the advent of helicopters and things like that. Not only the potential impact on the environment but I think also the potential impact on guest experience. At the end of the day, our guests want to feel like that they are in a place that is unique. I mentioned before about the wilderness experience – a very specific aim that we all have – but all of a sudden if you’ve got helicopters zooming around, that kind of has an impact on that. That’s part of it.The submersibles – it’s not that I’m not in favour of it – I just don’t think that our clients are looking at that activity and so the ships that we are inclined to strategically charter, that’s not one of the areas of key importance for us to have onboard. I think there are operational challenges with that as well. I’m not 100% sold that we all feel comfortable that there’s not going to be a potential impact on the environment in some of the areas that there are plans for these things to be operating as well.So it’s not that I’m not in favour of it, I’m certainly in favour of a safe operation of any type of activity that would be permitted, but it’s got to be done very carefully and it’s just not something in our wheelhouse of expertise to even want to take on.center_img Antarctica, Neko Harbor, Bob Simpson (Vice President, Expedition Cruising) in a Zodiac boatBob, welcome to Australia. You’re about to head to the Kimberley region. Is this your first time there and is this a new program for Abercrombie & Kent?Yeah, it is. It’s quite exciting. It’s something I’ve wanted to put into place and plan for quite a while. Historically we are best known for being an expedition company in the polar regions, which is certainly our bread and butter. But growing and getting into new areas – we’ve done a lot already, not too dissimilar. Over the years we’ve operated expeditions all through the South Pacific and New Zealand and Micronesia and Melanesia, up to Japan and up to the Russian Far East and within the Pacific side of the operation, but this will be the first time we’ve done the Kimberley and it’s something I’m really, really excited about. Something I’ve wanted to get in place for a long time.It will be on Le Laperouse. This will be new for us to operate which is kind of exciting. We haven’t offered it to our guests in the past. PONANT has been operating in the region since last year. They have operated in the region with various ships. This year they have L’Austral. They are just about to wrap up for this year and then next year it will be on La Laperouse, so we are chartering and operating one of the dates next year with our A&K team. What are some of the trends you are seeing in the expedition cruise market?The focus on and the evolution of the hardware has been quite interesting. If you look at the instances of some of the new ships that have either been planned and announced and those that have actually been delivered as well. The category of ships that are available for guests and the options that are available for guests in terms of the level of luxury and amenity and things like that, are what I’d say a relatively new phenomenon. Certainly within the last six-to-eight years or so.The increasing trend that I’m seeing is at that premium level. That’s no secret that a lot of the new builds are targeting that segment of the market as well.Activities is something else that I think is more and more part of the trending in having a variety of activities that people have available for them, both on and off the ship. Off the ship in particular, I’m thinking Antarctica in particular where there is a trend in increasing activities of off-ship options, such as sea kayaking, and in some cases there are some companies offering camping opportunities for guests. Other more active types of elements or opportunities for guests as well that are trending in product growth. Every company has a different level as to where their clients’ fit and in terms of the things that clients are coming to them seeking.For A&K, our focus is really more on the educational and enrichment side of the equation. We certainly offer a level of activity that lets the guest have a full immersive experience but a lot of our focus and investment of our product is really in terms of our personnel expertise and enriching staff that are delivering the guest experience. For the most part, A&K guests aren’t looking to spend the night in a tent, laying in a sleeping bag on the continent somewhere! They just want to be able to have a full, enriching experience, but are more inclined to want to get back to the nice levels of amenity offered aboard the ship. There is a bit of something for everyone and that’s increasing the trend, continuing to offer more types of elements in terms of activities and excursions. In your scouting trip to the Kimberley, will you be tagging on Indonesia?Not on this trip. This one is really just fine tuning and making sure we have everything in place for next year for the Kimberley program. But Indonesia is one of the areas that we’re probably looking at for 2020. We usually are starting the planning about two years out and through the process of leading up to the year prior we are operationalising something, we spend a lot of the fine tuning. In many cases we’ll do two or multiple trips before we have everything in place. With the Kimberley it’s a little different and we’ll be able to do it in one time. I will have a team onboard that has a lot of years experience in operating in the region. But for us as a company in terms of chartering the ship and running it, it’s a good opportunity for me to able to make sure I feel that all the operational components are going to be in place and our team will have everything they need to deliver the program when we’re down in June next year. You mentioned A&K previously had a ship. Are you winning your argument to try and secure another expedition ship?No, and to the contrary, I was the biggest proponent for us to not own and operate a ship, for a couple of reasons. Because of the evolution of hardware, I think it’s important for A&K to have flexibility to be able to make sure that we are able to be aligned with the best product that fits for what we want to do and how we want to operate. Intuitively, that may seem to indicate that it’s better to have your own ship. But then you are locked in and things change and market changes.And the other is, quite frankly, we are not a cruise line. When we owned and operated the Explorer it wasn’t a very profitable position for us because we had one ship. It was a single-ship operation. We didn’t have the desire to grow into a full cruise company and so, based on that, based on a single-ship operation, it is extremely difficult to make it very profitable. So for A&K, what’s more important is that we are really strategic and specific in terms of where we want to operate and the timing that we want to operate as well. So that lends to being able to selectively charter the ships, which is what we do, and we now approach it that way, where we are chartering the hardware.In the case of our partnership with PONANT, PONANT operates their own programs, but the only common element is the ship. They charter the ship to us, which is what we want. We want the crew onboard, and we do everything else. We put our software (expedition team and staff), our enrichment program, our brand, our standard of operation is all done by A&K. So it works quite well to be able to do that very selectively on the ships in the places and times that we want to be operating our programs. Can you tell me more about the A&K Philanthropic journeys?For me, that’s something that is very important. It’s something that I personally, in my position, spend a lot of time in developing and implementing on our programs. We have Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) projects globally. Anywhere we have infrastructure and that we’re operating that includes our expedition programs. That’s something that we implement on a destination by destination basis.We have a number of consistent projects. One is for Antarctica and one that has a wildlife conservation focus and is working through an organisation called ACAP (the Agreement for Conservation of Albatross and Petrels). It is centred around conservation for the diving seabirds, particularly Albatross, in that there is an inherent conflict between conservation efforts and groups and the longline fishing industries.There are three primary activities that occur in the Antarctic. One is science and research, which are the national Antarctic programs and science programs. The others are tourism and the third is fishing and fisheries.So the longline fishing industry, just by nature of the process, has created a significant hazard for diving seabirds in that the baited hooks on the long lines are typically at a depth that is within range of the diving seabirds. They get hooked going after the baits and there’s a relative high mortality rate of the petrels and albatross in particular in the Southern Ocean. The project that ACAP has been working on for a number of years now – that we’ve been very active and financially supporting – is a device that has been created that is a bait pod protector. This is a great example of cooperation between commercial industry interests and conservation efforts – in that it was a win-win for both sides. The bait pod, once it was created and implemented, it was proven that the cost of the fisheries to buy this bait pods and use them actually was a positive financial impact for the companies because they greatly increased their yield of catch, but also significantly eliminated the number of birds that were getting caught in the hooks. This is problematic two ways, from an environmental conservation standpoint, but it’s also problematic from a commercial view for the fisheries because they’re out there to catch fish, not birds. Every time a bird was caught it disrupted their fishing operations. It was a very cooperative effort and it took a lot of financial process, so for the last 10 years that we have been raising funds and supporting ACAP with this whole project, so that’s one project that A&K has been very active with.The other is on the climate research side and citizen science and science support. We have an affiliation with a US professor who has 35 years of research at the US Palmer Station in Antarctica and is affiliated with the US National Science Foundation, focused on ocean acidification and how climate change has impacted the food chain in particular the population of penguin rookeries in certain areas of the Antarctic Peninsula and so we have worked with Dr McClintock for about 12 years and every year we have allocated budget to purchase and acquire equipment that they need for their ongoing research at Palmer Station. Each year we deliver it when we are down there during our Antarctic season. We’ve delivered around US$350,000 worth of science research equipment that they’ve used and its all different types – from HD cameras to electronic satellite penguin tags, to webcams that are monitoring penguin rookeries, and other high-tech stuff.So we set a budget, we go to Dr McClintock each year, he goes back to his research associates and determines what it is they need and what we have in our budget and they’ll prioritise requirements. At the end of the day for our Antarctic program when we go to Palmer and deliver the equipment it’s something very interactive for our guests as well and they are involved in the delivery of the equipment, they meet with the scientists and they get a chance to actually see some of the results of the projects they are carrying out.One other project that I’m very passionate about is on the community and cultural support that we offer for our Northwest Passage, where we operate annually. One of staff members is a musician from Canada and he has a non-profit organisation called ArtsCan Circle which he has been operating for the past 10 years. He identifies some of the remote inuit communities where there is a historical, very significant problem with substance abuse by youth. In particular they get hooked on sniffing gasoline. It’s a high risk problem for the youth in these communities and so a number of years ago, Mike Stephens (our staff member who is on the voyage each year for the Northwest Passage), has aligned with a number of these communities where he delivers musical equipment and musical education as an alternative. He gets kids engaged in music as an alternative and it has been very, very effective. And so each year, and in particular in the community of Gjoa Haven (which is in Nunavet), we deliver a bunch of harmonicas, and over the years these kids have gotten very very engaged and the level of success that has been created to get kids engaged in music education and opportunities has been really tremendous. Thats another example of A&K’s community support and engagement.last_img read more